Each Day in the Word, Monday, May 29, 2023

 Acts 2:41-47 NKJV

41 Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them. 42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. 43 Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. 44 Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, 45 and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need.

46 So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.

For the next three days our lessons will focus on St. Peter’s sermon on Pentecost Day and the results. For that, Dr. Martin Luther’s sermon on Pentecost Sunday is helpful:

9. It is not enough simply that Christ be preached; the Word must be believed. Therefore, God sends the Holy Spirit to impress the preaching upon the heart–to make it inhere and live therein. Unquestionably, Christ accomplished all–took away our sins and overcame every obstacle… But the treasure lies in a heap; it is not everywhere distributed and applied. Before we can enjoy it, the Holy Spirit comes and communicates it to the heart, enabling us to believe and say, “I too, am one who shall have the blessing.” …

10. Now, with the belief that God has come to our rescue and given us this priceless blessing, inevitably the human heart must be filled with joy and with gratitude to God, and must exultingly cry: “Dear Father, since it is Your will to manifest toward me inexpressible love and fidelity, I will love You sincerely, and willingly do what is pleasing to You.” The believing heart never sees God with jealous eye. It does not fear being cast into hell as it did before the Holy Spirit came, when it was conscious of no love, no goodness, no faithfulness, on God’s part, but only wrath and displeasure. But once let the Holy Spirit impress the heart with the fact of God’s good will and graciousness towards it, and the resulting joy and confidence will impel it to do and suffer for God’s sake whatever necessity demands (Summer Postil 1544, cf. AE 77:327-28).

Peter preached, but God gets the glory for the results. The Father sent us the Son; the Son lived, died, and rose again for us; and the Holy Spirit brought us to faith through the Word.

Let us pray: O God, you taught the hearts of your faithful people by sending to them the light of your Holy Spirit. By that same Spirit give us a right judgment in all things that we may have and always rejoice in His holy comfort; through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, now and forever. Amen.

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